Mindfulness is not something obscure or exotic. It is something all of us possess. We use it every time we deliberately focus our attention at something. When you focus your attention at a nice flower, for example, you become aware of its shape, size, and colours. On closer inspection you might notice the texture of its leaves and its smell. And if you are very curious, you might even notice what the flower feels like when you touch it, or what it feels like and tastes when you put it in your mouth.
So when you learn to practice mindfulness, in a sense you don’t actually do anything new. What is new, however, is that you train yourself in focussing your attention a things much more deliberately. This also means you become mor easily aware when your attention drifts off to other things. Very often that is something not related to what we are doing at the moment: “I should buy flowers more often! I would like to grow these flowers in my garden” The direct experience of seeing, feeling, and tasting the flower, turns in a reflection on future events, thus leading you away from actually ecperiencing the very thing that triggered your planning in the first place!
We already have the capacity to be present, but practicing mindfulness will help you to be this more often throughout your day. When you practice on a daily basis, it will help you to worry less, experience things more vividly, without being overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around you.
Do you want to learn more about mindfulness? Our next 8-week mindfulness training (MBCT) starts on May 7! Click here for more information.